Political uncertainty in Hong Kong causes IGF to move the 2020 World Amateur Team Championships

February 29, 2020

Matt Browne

Outside influences have caused another prominent golf competition to adjust its schedule. The International Golf Federation is moving the men’s and women’s 2020 World Amateur Team Championships, set to be played in October, from Hong Kong to Singapore to alleviate concerns about the potential impact of protest that have taken place in the original host site.

The biennial competition, which brings together the top amateur golfers from around the world, is now scheduled to be played at Singapore’s Tanah Merah Country Club and Sentosa Golf Club. The women’s event will be Oct. 14-17 with the men’s tournament set for Oct. 21-24.

IGF executive director Antony Scanlon, in an official statement, said the IGF Board made the decision to move the championship “to allay the members’ concerns and to remove uncertainty about the staging of the event.” Scanlon said that Hong Kong, which previously held the WATC in 1984, will be considered again for a future date.

The decision to move the championships was made but not formally announced in early February, before concerns over the spread of the coronavirus became a separate but equally worrisome factor in host golf competitions. Several professional and amateur tournaments scheduled to be played throughout Asia in the early part of 2020 have since been cancelled or postponed for health safety issues. Most notably, the LPGA Tour cancelled the three tournaments in China, Singapore and Thailand, leaving a month-long gap in its schedule in late February and early March.

Whether WATC will be further impacted due to similar concerns is unknown, although with the championships still more than five months away, the hope is the spread of the virus will be under control and not require further action.

On Friday, the USGA announced that Diana Murphy, a past USGA president, and Pam Murray, a former chair of the USGA Women’s Committee have been selected to serve as the USA captains for the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.

Denmark is the defending men's team champion, winning in 2018 in Ireland. The United States, led by Jennifer Kupcho, Kristen Gillman and Lilia Vu, is the defending women's champions.